Contributors to this post include (L-R): Denise Croden, Executive Director, Integrated Production, Geng Giminski, Senior Event Manager, Veronique Bredas, Event Producer, John Tulloch, SVP, Global Account Director
The health and safety of our teams, clients, partners and attendees has always been a top priority at GPJ, but in 2020, what that looked like changed drastically. As the pandemic took hold across the globe, the role of our teams went from moving large numbers of people safely through conferences and events to moving our staff to work from home. We realized the need for a specialized task force to address COVID-19, to ensure the safety of our staff, clients and partners, and when the time came, for event attendees as well.
Because our work often brings together large groups of people, we had to be bullish and fanatical about spearheading the health and safety conversation; we set out to lead the industry not only because we had the needed resources, but because it was the right thing to do.
In June, 2020, the Health and Safety Task Force was born; charged with the development of tools, guidelines and protocols to educate and empower GPJ teams, clients, vendors and crew to get back to work and deliver projects safely.
We began by partnering with COVID-19 compliance management experts, medical professionals, and monitoring health and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), federal, state and local officials.
Over 120 of our production team members are now COVID-19 Compliance Officers certified through Health Education Services. This team includes representatives from all the GPJ US offices and has developed internal training content to educate our broader teams. The team provides informed strategic guidance documents for clients, maintains an internal microsite with resources and updates, and shares regular health and safety newsletters to keep all of our teams updated on developments and safety guidelines.
Since the team was assembled, we’ve advised multiple automotive event organizers, sharing our knowledge to ensure adequate COVID-19 safety measures were in place across in-person events, and even provided the keynote address at the annual Auto Shows of North America Annual Summit focused on health and safety.
The Task Force meets bi-weekly to review and discuss the updates and developments for GPJ projects. Everyone at GPJ has access to local office health and safety representatives to help plan their projects to meet local safety requirements. Protocols start from pre-planning guidelines, and include all levels of production and operations through delivery and reconciliation.
As cities allow gatherings, and as we’ve been onsite to produce virtual and hybrid events, the team has partnered with various companies who manage COVID-19 testing and provide medically licensed health safety supervisors onsite. Our team’s Covid Compliance Officers have also been onsite to help coordinate and implement safety plans.
The Task Force is making it safe for us to go back to work.
From small video shoots and virtual conferences reaching millions of viewers, to live auto shows, we’ve had great success because of this team’s tireless efforts and tenacity in the face of the pandemic.
We’ve proven that we know how to navigate through COVID-19 compliance requirements, and deliver small to large scale projects for our clients, ensuring that everyone is working safely.
Here are some of the daily safety compliance protocols that the Covid Compliance Officers help to ensure and enforce onsite:
• Ensure Covid signage, social distance markers and hand sanitizer are in place
• Manage pre-screening check-ins and roster
• Supply and distribute PPE (personal protective equipment: face mask, face shields, gloves, gowns, sanitizers, wipes, etc., as required)
• Ensure that face masks are worn properly and changed out after 8 hours
• Manage health & safety communications and briefing each morning
• Assure good ventilation of location
• Ensure that personnel maintain 6 ft social distancing
• Coordinate regular cleaning schedule with onsite cleaning company
• Coordinate personnel wellness and temperature checks during the day
• Assure crew sanitizes all equipment in between sharing and at the end of the day
• Work with the event producer for any non-compliance issues
• Assess and address health incidents and symptoms onsite
As the ability to meet safely and the confidence level of attendees rises, and companies hosting in person events continues to increase, the role of Health and Safety Management will remain an integral part of our planning process. Our team will continue to be an invaluable asset to our clients as they begin to navigate hybrid events and the return to large, in person gatherings.